Friday, December 20, 2013
See Donald Duck go psychedelic orgasmic over a manifestation of Xochiquetzal:
And a peyote goddess:
Don't worry, it was all to support the war effort:
at 7:33 AM
Monday, December 16, 2013
Looks like my novels, Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues will become available in trade paperback again. I 'll go into the details later. Right now I'm enjoying letting the reality sink in.
The deal includes a "Best of" collection of my short fiction, which is long overdue, and will bring me a great deal of pleasure.
I feel like I've accomplished a few things in 2013, and am looking forward to doing more in 2014. Life does not suck.
at 9:28 AM
Friday, December 6, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Here we go again, Cyber Monday. The season of the gift is once more upon us. Where did this year go? Anyway, while you're busy spending money and getting the economy started again, let me offer some Ernesto products for your consideration:
All three of my novels are available as ebooks from the Kindle store, and Smashwords:
High Aztech, a merry romp with mind-altering viruses in a Mexico City where Aztec religion is all the rage.
Smoking Mirror Blues, in which a cyberresurrected Tezcatlipoca goes berzerk in a futuristic Hollywood.
Cortez on Jupiter, about a Chicano graffiti artist who makes his way from the barrio to the stars!
I've also got stories in three new anthologies:
“Novaheads,” where my cyberpunk luchador, Steelsnake, takes on the dealer of a weaponized chili drug, in Super Stories of Heroes and Villains edited by Claude Lalumiìère.
“Pancho Villa's Flying Circus,” a rip-roaring tale of death rays, airships, and revolution in We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Fabio Fernandes and Djibfil al-Ayad.
“Skin Dragons Talk,” a laser-edged swashbuckler on a Moon colony run by yakuza in Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall.
Other stories in other anthologies and magazines can be found on my Amazon Author Page.
Wait 'til you see what I've got coming at you in the new year!
at 7:15 AM
Friday, November 22, 2013
Meanwhile here some other versions. This one deliberately going for abstract:
Another, short sweet, and using some of the original narrative:
One that actually looks sci-fi:
The Invention of Morel, Pages 89-91, excerpts from Becky James / Meredith James on Vimeo.
There's even an emo song:
at 8:21 AM
Friday, November 8, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Memories . . . they tend to fade. You never know what will bring them back. And when they do, it can be hard to document them, make them history. Sometimes you have just let them become legend . . .
Like when I was watching Disney's Fantasia with Emily not long ago. We were enjoying the Stravinsky Rite of Spring sequence, the one with the dinosaurs, and memories floated up out of the murky recesses of my brain:
It was of my paternal grandfather, Grandpa Hogan. He did art projects for the WPA during the Great Depression, drew the California missions, and told of “going to the museum to draw prehistoric animals for Walt Disney.”
The timeline puts it about right – there's a possibility that the Fantasia dinosaurs were based on drawings he did!
Luckily, I asked my Aunt Teri:
I remember the stories! The same way you mentioned them. I always thought the same about the Fantasia dinosaurs. I remember him telling us that the work was temp and Disney offered him a permanent position at lower pay than another offer he got, and he took the better offer. Said he had no idea that Disney studios would become so successful.
Did he have any professional art training?
No. He just loved it. I do remember him saying that his mother kept the kitchen table covered with an oilcloth table cloth. You know the kind that had a plastic-like top and a soft cloth underside. My grandfather used to flip the cloth edge up and sketch while he drank a beer after dinner. Your Grandpa said he would keep moving around the table and sketching the underside of the cloth until it was full and then Abuelita would get a new one. This after-dinner activity was something both your Grandpa and his dad did. Art runs in the family. Your grandpa said that his dad sketched mostly wild west art and often some renderings of the old L.A. streetcars, he was a conductor on one.
What other education did he have?
He graduated from Montebello High School. I'm not sure what year but I think it was around 1929 or 30 maybe a year or two later. He was on the gymnastics team! He did relate a story of one of his teachers, a Mr. Carter, who was the brother of Howard Carter who discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt. Grandpa said his teacher brought letters to class that he read from his brother, Howard, while the actual dig was going on. This will give you an idea of the time period.
History reached out and touched Grandpa Hogan, all the way from ancient Egypt!
There's no documentation. The Hogans have never been big on documentation. Grandpa used to say he didn't have a birth certificate because “the church burned down.”
So like in John Ford's The Man who Shot Liberty Valance:
“This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
at 8:39 AM
Friday, October 25, 2013
The latest Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga is an announcement of the new anthology Motheship: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, that includes my story, “Skin Dragons Talk.”
It used to be, that outer space, technology, and the future were consider white things:
These days, things are different:
And, Sun Ra was way ahead of everybody on this:
I've said that Miles Davis may have invented cyberpunk with On the Corner. It also makes a great Afrofuturist soundtrack:
at 7:47 AM
Monday, October 14, 2013
Last week, Søren Heinecke informed me that when he tried the links here at Mondo Ernesto to reread Brainpan Fallout – they were dead. LaSilencia.com with its archived material from The Red Dog Journal were gone. How was I going to prove that Brainpan, and all the craziness connected to it, ever happened?
Luckily, in a few hours it was back, and I found new links that can get you to the original Red Dog Journal version of Brainpan Fallout, complete with all the original typos and mistakes, and the fun, between-the-chapters self-promotional stuff. Get glimpses of my personal life! Find out about the neobohemian scene in Phoenix back in the Nineties!
Just to make it easier for you, here's the links to the Introduction, Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, as they original appeared through the pre-World Wide Web, FaxMo network, in the coffee house giveaway zine, and the original Red Dog website. Have fun!
It's all got me seriously thinking about putting the complete, annotated Brainpan Fallout out as an ebook. Who knows? The world may finally be ready for it.
If not, what the hell, it probably needs the shock therapy.
Thanks to Paul Riddell, Kevin Mcveigh, Richard Palmer, Alex Jay Berman, and again, Søren Heinecke for their interest.
at 8:18 AM
Friday, October 11, 2013
This time in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga, I review Hank Lopez's Afro-6, considered to be the first science fiction novel by a Chicano.
It was published back in 1969. It was a different world. Men went to the Moon:
Back on Earth, all kinds of things were happening:
Sam Greenlee's The Spook Who Sat by the Door was eventually made into a movie:
And let's not forget Ruben Salazar:
at 8:48 AM
Friday, October 4, 2013
Awk! October already? And I see Tezcatlipoca has been on the job, throwing the world into chaos. He even dropped in and did a number on my life the other day. What a god! With him around, we'll never have to worry about the human race dying off from mass boredom.
It also means Día de los Muertos is coming. And, if we include Halloween in the three-day Dead Daze fiesta, like I did in my novel Smoking Mirror Blues, it's coming fast, maybe too fast.
Meanwhile, this is the perfect time of year to read (or reread) Smoking Mirror Blues to get ready for both Halloween and los Días!
If you don't already have a copy, you can buy the Kindle edition from Amazon, where they're also offering the original trade paperback at prices from $120.00 to $186.75!
Luckily, the publisher, Wordcraft of Oregon is still offering it for $12. (Scroll about halfway down the page.)
If you have an other-than-Kindle ereader, you can buy it from from Smashwords in a variety of formats, and even read a free sample online!
So get with it. Read about Tezcatlipoca before he pops up in your life for real.
at 7:39 AM
Friday, September 27, 2013
I also admit that I think she's hot:
Aren't transformer lowriders are the mad scientists of the barrio?
Remember, Chicano is a science fiction state of being:
And, sci-fi never had any trouble crossing borders:
at 8:33 AM
Monday, September 23, 2013
Maybe it was the Spanish strand panels at LoneStarCon 3, or Postcolonial and Afrofuturist anthologies that have come out, or maybe the time has come, and there's just something in the air all over the planet, but suddenly there was a whole lot of chatter about diversity in science fiction on the social media.
It also gives me déjá vu.
I had heard – and even said – a lot of this before, a long time ago in a subculture not far away.
I started writing, and got involved with fandom, back in the Seventies – that's Nineteen-Seventies, back in the Nineteen-Hundreds. We'd just been through all those protests, riots, and stuff of the Sixties. I didn't think that being a Chicano would be an issue in my ambition to become a science fiction writer. We'd been to the Moon, we were beyond primitive things like racism.
Besides, I was living in a multiracial, multicultural world: Southern California. Browns, blacks and yellow were everywhere. I didn't have to go far to see signs in Spanish, Japanese, Korean . . . and the recombocultural sparks that flew when these cultures rub against each other!
You can read about it in my fiction. My nonfiction, too, now that I think about it.
The popular vision of an All-White Future couldn't possibly last much longer. Earth had never been Planet of the White People. All I had to do was look around at the world I was living in to see it. Surely, science fiction was just about to catch on . . .
But it seems that a lot of folks believed that science fiction was properly by and about Western Civilization and white people. I was frustrated with science fiction magazines that aimed at a white, middle class audience. After, this was a genre for educated people with an interest in science . . .
Editors would tell me that their readers just wouldn't relate to my stories, and “I wouldn't want to meet any of your characters in a dark alley.”
“You're brave, writing about blacks and minorities – they get offended you know.”
It wasn't just me who was getting this treatment. On the cover of Steve Barnes' Streetlethal, the hero's face was re-done so, even though his skin was dark, he didn't look “Afro.”
My wife's novel Larissa, was about a black woman. When thebook came out the character looked like this:
Yeah, kids, whitewashing isn't anything new.
This was all justified as commercialism: “Americans just like books with white people on the covers.”
This was also the time was science fiction was being transformed into Nerd Lit, and back then, nerds were perceived as white.
As for what happened if you wrote something that was too diverse, I've written about what happened with my novel High Aztech elsewhere.
Oddly enough, the tide turned when Will Smith saved Earth from aliens in Independence Day.
And now, the times they are a-changing. With the coming of ebooks and the collapse of traditional publishing, the market is no longer centered on the caucasian-dominated, Anglophone corner of the planet. We aren't there yet, but we are entering the age of postcolonial global marketing. Goodbye, Planet of the White People. The All-White Future is obsolete.
Traditional publishing outlets will either adapt, or die in the new configuration, and it's about time.
Still, it gives me déjà vu.
Guess that's what I get for being so futuristic.
at 8:45 AM
Friday, September 13, 2013
In honor of the publication of my lucha libre sci-fi story Novaheads in Claude Lalumière's new anthology Super Stories of Heroes and Villains, Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, pays tribute to Jesús Murciélago Velazquez.
Here's some background en español:
Get a load of Murciélago going mano a mano with Blue Demon:
Raygun-totting mamas interfere with this color rematch:
For further reading – and lots of spectacular pictures – on Mexican wrestling, I recommend Dan Madigan's Mondo Lucha A Go-Go:
at 8:41 AM
Monday, September 9, 2013
My story Novaheads, is in Claude Laumière's new anthology Super Stories of Heroes and Villains. It's about a masked Mexican – well, Chicano, if want to be precise – wrestler named Steelsnake.
Why would I write about such a character? Believe it or not, my motivation was money. All I had to do was to create a superhero in a deranged postcyberpunk world spiced with Chicanismo, sell the comic book, television, and movie rights, quit the day job . . .
Unfortunately, as often happens with me, I was ahead of my time. This was the Ninteen-Nineties. The speculative/fantasy genre wasn't going all gaga over diversity. I gathered the usual pile of rejections slips. Seems my characters weren't right for “the audience.”
One editor even said, “This kind of noir is going out of style.”
I kept trying, though. Finally, Claude Lalumière bought it for his now-defunct LostPages.net. Yes, kids, actual money was involved.
Recently, Novaheads was accepted by Álvaro Rodríguez, who wrote the movie Machete, for an anthology to be titled Border Noir. I signed a contract and everything. Unfortunately, the book was canceled due to mysterious circumstances.
Suddenly, none other than Claude Lalumière swooped down to save the day, and bought it for
Super Stories of Heroes and Villains!
Publishers Weekly calls it, “the best superhero anthology around, and a must-read for comic book fans.”
Steelsnake may become a profitable franchise yet. I've been thinking about more stories about him. Anybody out there want to buy a superhero?
at 8:34 AM
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
The current Chicanonautica over at La Bloga is in honor of my story Pancho Villa's Flying Circus appearing in the new anthology We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Fábio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad, and featuring stories by writers from all over the planet . . . and that I didn't know that Pancho didn't drink.
How was I to know? People name drinks after him:
And their bars:
His troops were known to smoke and sing about marijuana:
But he did have aircraft, just not airships:
at 8:58 AM